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Old 10-03-2006, 09:16 PM
jdmunzell jdmunzell is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hamilton, VA
Posts: 415

"Cannibal Queen" by Stephen Coonts was a great barnstorming read.

Also, "Memoirs of a Triple Ace" a biography of P-51 Ace Col. "Bud" Anderson
-8 wings, finishing up
-8 QB Fuse just arrived!!!
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:47 PM
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n5lp n5lp is offline
fugio ergo sum
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Carlsbad, NM
Posts: 1,912

Originally Posted by jdmunzell
"Cannibal Queen" by Stephen Coonts was a great barnstorming read...
Bryan gave a personal reminiscence, so I will.

I was having dinner with a guy named Manfred Radius who used to do a lot of airshow glider performances. Each spring, at Hobbs, we would do grunt work, helping him hone up for the airshow season. He would take car tows with a 1,000 foot rope and we would hold the poles for his inverted pass ribbon cut. Yep, pretty impressive and I think he is the only one who has ever done this.

Well I had read "Cannibal Queen" a few months before, so at one point I asked him what his reaction was to having Stephen Coonts call him (paraphasing, because I can't find my copy) the best pilot he had ever seen. Bear in mind that Manfred is a furniture maker in Canada and just did the airshow stuff for his own enjoyment.

His answer was "what?" He hadn't even heard of the book.

So I went to Hastings Book Store that night, after dinner, and bought him a copy.

I imagine he enjoyed it some.
Larry Pardue
Carlsbad, NM

RV-6 N441LP Flying
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:10 PM
N184JG N184JG is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: OWASSO,OK
Posts: 189

Tex Hill Flying Tiger,Fate Is The Hunter,Yeager,I Could Never Be So Luckey Again.
Jim Gallaway VAF#782 2013 PAID 2014 paid
Gundys airport
RV7 N1717G FLYING sold
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:12 PM
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dmaib dmaib is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New Smyrna Beach, FL
Posts: 1,326

"Song of The Sky", by Guy Murchie, should be on the list.
David Maib
RV-10 N380DM
New Smyrna Beach, FL
VAF Paid 1/02/2019

"In '69 I was 21, and I called the road my own"
Jackson Browne

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Old 10-03-2006, 10:18 PM
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n5lp n5lp is offline
fugio ergo sum
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Carlsbad, NM
Posts: 1,912

Originally Posted by n5lp
...(paraphasing, because I can't find my copy) the best pilot he had ever seen....
Well I found my copy and sure did miss it some. But the gist isn't that far off.

The actual quote is "His mastery of his craft was total, his exhibition a tour de force."

Forgive me for getting it a bit wrong from carrier pilot Coonts.
Larry Pardue
Carlsbad, NM

RV-6 N441LP Flying
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:47 PM
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Mike S Mike S is online now
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 14,479

Well, already mentioned is Cannibal Queen, my #1 choice.

Close #2, is "Flight of Passage", by Rinker Buck

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Old 10-04-2006, 12:20 AM
Stephen Lindberg Stephen Lindberg is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 272
Default It's Gotta be Gann

All the books mentioned are good/great and most are on the shelf behind me right now. But hands down my favorite over the years has always been "Fate is the Hunter" by Ernest K. Gann. I have read it many times and it never fails to move me. It is not a perfect book. Gann's ability as a novelist improved in his later books but for shear raw power there is, in my opinion, no finer aviation book. The theme woven through the story is the power of chance to decide our fate despite our best efforts as pilots. Survival in the sky depends on skill, knowledge (especially self-knowledge), courage, and....fortunate circumstances. "Where is the man without luck?" he asks. I am perhaps biased because, as a 16 yo student pilot, I CALLED ERNEST K. GANN ON THE PHONE! and had a nice chat about the book. Then he consented to allow me to interview him for a high school term paper! I flew a Taylorcraft out to Friday Harbor and he met me at the airport in his green 1950ish MG roadster. He showed me his airplanes, a Piaggio Royal Gull and a Bucker Jungmeister. I visited his office and saw all his Holywood memorabilia. He was good friends with John Wayne. All the while we talked flying. He was very gracious and extremely generous with his time. It was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life, up to that time at least. Because of my afternoon with Mr. Gann I started flying more responsibly. Now for the best part. Ten years ago a friend bought a DC-3 and I have been very fortunate to get to fly it, even getting typed. So I have been able to partly live out my literary fantasy of airline flying in the 1930's and 40's. I can recommend "Fate is Hunter" without reservation. If you haven't read it your aviation education is not yet complete.
Steve Lindberg
RV-7A N783Z 0-360 Hartzell
canopy skirts, panel
RV4 second owner
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:03 AM
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JonathanCook JonathanCook is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Celebration, FL
Posts: 131
Default The greatest Aviation book of all time is Yeager by General Chuck Yeager

By far and with out a doubt the greatest aviation book ever is Yeager by General Chuck Yeager! If you have not read this book, then you should get it now. Amazon has it for under $3.00.

For thoes that do not know. Here is a brief summary from the top of my head.

Yeager enlists in the army from a small town in West Virginia at 17. He later signs up to be an aviator. He flys P51 Mustangs in Europe. He is shot down over France. He escapes France by hiking over the Pyrenees. His hiking partner is shot in the knee by the Germans. Yeager amputates the knee while under fire with his pocket knife and then escapes with his unconscious partner down a log slide. Yeager saves the manís life by carrying him for the next two days up the Pyrenees into Spain. Yeager goes all the way to Eisenhower to get permission to continue fighting in Europe. Yeager then becomes a test pilot only by an accident location and his great flying skills. He is the maintenance officer who flies the airplanes after they have been fixed at Wright Field in Ohio. He becomes a test pilot without an engineering degree because of his flying ability. One of his test pilot missions is to determine why Ailerons were locking up at full deflection on one particular airplane. This had caused a few deaths by military pilots. Yeager takes the problem type aircraft for a test flight. Sure enough he locks up the ailerons with full stick deflection. Read the book to see how he gets out of this situation. He later breaks the sound barrier as a test pilot. Breaking the sound barrier is only a day in the life of Yeager. He later goes to the Korean conflict and later still he flies over 100 missions in Vietnam. While stationed in Japan he flies under radar into Vietnam (why he does this in the book) to visit his son who is Army infantry. Yeager goes on patrol in the bush with his sonís platoon just for kicks. When Yeager becomes a general he is assigned to Pakistan as the Ambassadorís military liaison. He basically trains the Pakistan air force and then when war breaks out between Pakistan and India Yeager is again up flying combat missions. Yeager goes on a top secret mission inside the Soviet Union with the cover as the Co-Pilot of Jackie Cochran(an other recommend aviation book). While sitting a banquet he is recognized by the Russians. The Russian take him to some of their airfields and he is expecting to be taken prisoner at any moment. Yeager and Cochran are allowed to fly out of Russia. Yeager has secret military photography equipment which he uses when flying over the Russian military bases. Yeager ends his career in the safety department of the Air force where he changes the way military accidents are investigated and corrected. Yeager has stated that his biggest achievement in the Air Force is restructuring of maintenance departments that he has under his command. His menís aircraft have unheard of deployment ability. Under his command he and his men have many half way around the world deployment where all of the aircraft complete their mission. This is back in the 50 and 60 where it is extremely difficult to keep these early jet flying. Yeager credits this accomplishment; because he always considered himself a maintenance person going all the way back to when he was a maintenance office at Wright Field in Ohio.

Celebration, FL 34747 (just SW of Orlando)
Working on Fuselage
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Old 10-04-2006, 08:21 AM
Mike_ExpressCT Mike_ExpressCT is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 211
Default Favorite Books

For the non-fiction books:

-I agree with everyone: Fate is the Hunter- Gann
-Cannibal Queen- Coonts
-My all time favorite: Thunderbolt!- Robert S. Johnston

Fiction Books:

-Flight of the Old Dog- Dale Brown
-Flight of the Intruder- Coonts
-Termite Hill- Wilson

I'll add more as I think of them...I'm having a mental block right now.
Wheeler Express Builder
Waiting on the -12
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Old 10-04-2006, 08:24 AM
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Mel Mel is online now
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 10,193

"You want to build and fly a what?" by Dick Starks (a quick and fun read)

"No Parachute" by Arthur Gould Lee" (a true account of WWI flying)
Mel Asberry..DAR since last century
A&P/EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor/Nat'l Test Pilot School
Specializing in Amateur-Built and Light-Sport Aircraft
North Texas (8TA5)
RV-6 Flying since 1993, 172hp O-320, 3-Blade Catto (since 2003)
Legend Cub purchased 12/2017
FRIEND of the RV-1
Eagle's Nest Mentor
Recipient of Wright Brothers "Master Pilot" Award
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